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Kyrene Names New Superintendent
Posted November 2020
Assistant Superintendent Laura Toenjes will serve as the next Superintendent of Kyrene School District. The Kyrene Governing Board voted unanimously on November 24 to approve Ms. Toenjes’s contract. Her first day as Superintendent will be January 1, 2021.
Ms. Toenjes brings 26 years of educational experience to the role, serving as a classroom teacher, a principal and a district administrator, as well as holding positions in both county and state education departments. She joined Kyrene in the 2016-17 school year and currently oversees the School Effectiveness department which includes: school supervision, curriculum and assessment, professional development, and federal programs and outreach. Through her experiences across the State of Arizona, Ms. Toenjes has witnessed inequities in funding and resources, and she is a strong advocate for access and inclusion in public education.
“I believe in the power of education to change the life of every child,” Ms. Toenjes said. “As educators, we each have a personal responsibility to ensure every child has equitable access to a high-quality education.”
In addition to serving as a leader in Kyrene’s equity initiatives, Ms. Toenjes was also the chief architect of the Kyrene Mitigation Plan, which serves as the District’s roadmap for campus safety during the COVID-19 pandemic. She has worked side-by-side with retiring Superintendent Dr. Jan Vesely on these and other critical District initiatives, including the Kyrene Strategic Plan 2022.
“I have had the great pleasure of working with Laura Toenjes in two school districts and have seen firsthand that she is a gifted and accomplished educational leader,” said Dr. Vesely. “Laura cares deeply for the students and staff of Kyrene School District, and it is with great pride that I see her step into this well-deserved role.”
Ms. Toenjes grew up in Gilbert and attended the University of Arizona. She holds a bachelor’s degree in communications, a master’s degree in elementary education, and a dual master’s degree in administration/supervision and curriculum/instruction. She is the proud mother of two boys who have both chosen paths to serve and protect others, her older son as a wildland firefighter and her younger son in the United States Marine Corps. She intends to bring that family spirit of service to her role as Kyrene Superintendent.
“I am thrilled to continue serving this District I love so much,” Ms. Toenjes said. “It is an honor to carry forward the Kyrene vision that all students achieve at their maximum potential to become the problem solvers, creators, and visionaries of tomorrow.”